By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
'The Man From U.N.C.L.E.' is uneven but still enjoyable
Armie Hammer as Illya and Henry Cavill as Solo in Warner Bros. Pictures' action adventure "The Man From U.N.C.L.E.," a Warner Bros. Pictures release. - photo by Doug Wright
'The Man From U.N.C.L.E' (PG-13) 3 stars

"The Man From U.N.C.L.E." is a film I had to warm up to. Initially, it struck me as stiff, complete with wavering accents and one character laden with an overdose of pomposity. But I started to get into the erratic rhythm of the thing.

The 2015 rendition of "The Man from U.N.C.L.E." thankfully retains its tradition of being set in the 1960s, and this time our Cold War warriors are Henry Cavill as CIA agent Napoleon Solo and Armie Hammer as KGB agent Illya Kuryakin.

But wait there has been an addition to the core. Enter Alicia Vikander as British agent Gaby. This is understandable, after all. Even though the story is set in the 20th century, the audience has 21st century expectations. Gaby is an accommodation that even purists will or should accept.

What would motivate the clandestine forces of the United States, the Soviet Union and Great Britain to actually team up? Well duh nuclear bombs, of course. Nukes were, and are, the staple of any Cold War spy movie, especially when rogue entities are peddling them to the highest bidder. This is where the film introduces a more traditional female role for this genre, the obligatory femme fatale.

Enter Elizabeth Debiki as the deliciously evil Victoria, who is filthy rich, devoid of conscience and has a hobby of brokering rogue nukes. She is the perfect challenge for our suave, semi-reformed super thief; a die-hard, somewhat warped Soviet with a hair-trigger temper; and a beautiful British woman with daddy issues and Nazis in the family tree. Its perfect.

But the movie is occasionally clunky. It's a little like a good tune that starts off rocky before finding the beat and delivering the hook, but then still hits a few sour notes. Thats "The Man from U.N.C.L.E." Part of the problem might be in the overt effort to set the stage for the sequel.

Still, there are moments so clever, so familiar (in a good way) and so funny that its easy to cut this movie a little slack.

Cavill and Hammer are an acquired taste in their roles, but Vikander hits her marks out of the gate and never skips a beat. Hugh Grant plays Waverly and clearly is the adult in the room and a critical factor in keeping these three from each others throats.

Bottom line, its not great, but I enjoyed this movie.